Requesting Legal Assistance from the ACLU of Illinois

Complaint Policies and Procedures

Rights Violated? Please Read This First.

As one of more than 50 state ACLU affiliates around the country, the ACLU of Illinois covers only the state of Illinois. We are unable to provide assistance outside our geographic area. If you wish to contact the ACLU affiliate in your area, please consult the affiliate directory prepared by the National ACLU.

The ACLU of Illinois’ Intake Department is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Thursday. During those hours an intake counselor is available by phone if you wish to explain your problem. Our counselors are dedicated volunteers, but they are not lawyers and cannot give you legal advice, but will simply obtain the facts pertaining to your problem. Depending on the nature of your problem, the counselor may give you an appropriate referral or present the facts of your case to a staff attorney for review. The ACLU cannot refer you to individual private attorneys.

Contacting the ACLU to describe your problem will not guarantee the ACLU will represent you. Due to the enormous demand for representation and our limited resources, the ACLU cannot represent everyone who has a valid legal claim. Every decision regarding representation must meet specific guidelines and requires special approval.

Important Note About Deadlines:
All legal claims have time deadlines, known in legal terms as “statutes of limitation.” The deadlines may be different depending on who violated your rights and which rights were violated. For some kinds of violations, you may need to file a claim with a government agency before you can sue, and these agencies have their own time deadlines. If you do not comply with the applicable statute of limitations, you may be legally barred from pursuing your claim in court. Contacting the ACLU to describe your problem does not mean that the ACLU represents you, and will not stop the statute of limitations from running. The ACLU cannot give you advice about the deadlines that apply to your case. To protect your rights, please consult an attorney promptly to find out what deadline may apply in your case.

You may submit a complaint to the Intake Department of the ACLU of Illinois by any of the following methods. If you send us an email, please tell us how to respond to you (for example, by phone) so that we can respect your privacy.

By Phone: (312) 201-9740
(800) 572-1092 (inside Illinois only)
By Fax: (312) 201-9760
By Post: ACLU of Illinois Intake Department
180 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2300
Chicago, IL 60601
Email: complaint @
Online: Secure Complaint Form